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Today, Sandy has begun to show that she is a force to be reckoned with on the East coast. Flooding has begun, rain is falling, and blizzard warnings have been issued throughout Appalachia. Here is what our National Headquarters has stated about the status of The Salvation Army’s efforts on the ground:
The Salvation Army is continuing to monitor and prepare for Hurricane Sandy as it makes its way up the eastern seaboard with potentially devastating impacts to millions of people. There are more than 300 emergency response vehicles in the eastern and southern United States alone and more than 600 units nationwide, capable of serving thousands of meals and drinks per day.
Here is a brief update of our mobilization activities:
- Throughout Maryland:
- In response to a request from the Wicomico County Emergency Management, The Salvation Army of Salisbury served lunch for more than 200 persons at the shelter on Sunday.
- The Salvation Army is assisting with sheltering activities at Salisbury Bennett High School in a community where residents have been asked to evacuate.
- In Annapolis, The Salvation Army is serving meals at Annapolis High School, where an emergency shelter opened Saturday evening and will continue to do so until that shelter closes.
- The Salvation Army in Baltimore is in close contact with the Baltimore City & County Emergency Operations Centers and has been asked to feed neighborhoods that lose power should the need arise.
- In Virginia and the District of Columbia:
- All Salvation Army units across the Commonwealth and District are on stand-by status. Mobile feeding kitchens are stocked, and Salvation Army officers and volunteers are ready to deploy as needed and requested by Emergency Management personnel.
- On Saturday evening, The Salvation Army Men’s Hope Center Shelter in Norfolk, VA sheltered 60 people. In coordination with the Office to End Homelessness, the Men’s Hope Center is prepared to transport to area city shelters if asked to evacuate due to potential flooding.
- In New Jersey:
- The New Jersey Division currently has its full fleet of emergency response vehicles ready to deploy if needed. This includes 10 fully-stocked canteens, two service vehicles, and one mobile command unit.
- Atlantic County has requested The Salvation Army provide feeding at its operating shelters.
- The Salvation Army Red Bank Corps will receive evacuated nursing home patients on Sunday and Monday.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit http://www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text* messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
We will keep you posted as the storm progresses. Thanks for your help.
By Salvation Army Midland Division | | |
100% of Proceeds to Salvation Army Veterans Programs
Starting Monday, May 28, from 10-2 p.m., 212 Salon in Midtown will be hosting “Military Mondays” for men and women of the Armed Services. Military personal and veterans will be able to get a haircut for $10. The salon is partnering with The Salvation Army to raise money for its Veterans Program.
The last Monday of every month the Salon will open just for the armed services from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with 100 percent of all proceeds benefiting the charities that impact and aid our military personal and families.
“It is through partnerships like this that makes it possible to Do the Most Good in the St. Louis region,” said Major Lonneal Richardson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army. “It is great that we are able to start such a great program on Memorial Day that will benefit our men and women of the Armed Services.”
Contact Corey James at (314) 534-4247 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment or acquire more information. 212 Salon is located at 511 North Garrison Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103.
By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division
Doug Keeney was uninsured and unemployed when the tornado struck. A construction worker in a down economy, he had long struggled to find reliable work.
Keeney lived in a house he planned to retire in. “It was an old house, but it was paid for,” he remarks. “It was surrounded by a dozen beautiful old trees that I just loved, but because of those trees, I was unable to get insurance for the home. We’d had two ice storms a few years previous and the insurance company required that I had to cut back all trees hanging over the house. At a cost of $300-$400 per tree, I just couldn’t afford to cut them back without a job.”
On May 22, when the sirens sounded, Keeney wasn’t unusually concerned.
“We always get weather alerts, and everybody just goes out on their front porch and looks. I saw there was a tornado north of my house and I wasn’t overly concerned,” recalls Keeney, “but I remembered the employees at the Arby’s near my home didn’t have a TV or radio and probably didn’t know to take cover. I walked across the street and told them to get in their cooler to take cover. They invited me to take cover with them and I told them I’d run home to get my wallet and keys and would return shortly.”
As Keeney arrived home, the wind increased to a dangerous pace and before he knew it, he was unable to take cover. Doug became pinned between his front door and the nearest wall, a lucky place it turned out, as very little else was left when the storm passed.
“When the storm was over, the second story on my home was gone, as was half of the story I was standing on. I dug around and found a few things I needed, then headed out to find my neighbors and friends. That’s when I saw the only thing that was left standing at Arby’s was the cooler where the employees had taken cover.”
Keeney brushes off the thought he might be a hero saying, “I think I just did what everyone else would have done.”
For the next three weeks, Doug came to his home every day to clear debris and find his belongings. “I dug through all of the debris and found every little thing I could. The volunteers were amazing. They helped a lot. They got down in there and dug with me and helped me move what I could.”
Since the storm, Keeney has worked closely with The Salvation Army case managers. “As far as I’m concerned, Dana and her team have really gone above and beyond. When I needed work clothes for my debris clean-up job, they were there. They’re working to help me get a vehicle, and thanks to her team, I’ve been connected with Convoy of Hope, and they are building me my new home.”
Every morning since the storm, Doug has gone out to sit on his old concrete porch, all that remains of his former home. “I don’t think I’ve missed a morning. It’s where I can be by myself, gather my thoughts, plan for my day,” he says.
Around the one-year anniversary, Keeney will move into his new home, built on the same lot.
“I’m gonna miss my trees,” he says a little wistfully, “but this has turned out to be such a blessing, none of which would have been possible without The Salvation Army.”
NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE, NEW CHALLENGES: A BLOG SERIES
By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division
The bellringers who usher in the Christmas season so brightly with the jingle of their bell have put away their kettles for another year, but the Tree of Lights campaign continues through the end of January, and the work we do will continue for as long as there is support.
365 days a year, The Salvation Army provides homeless services, food pantry assistance, rent and utility supplements, youth programming, senior services, emergency disaster response, ministry and more. 82 cents of every dollar we receive from our donors goes directly into programming that changes lives in the St. Louis area.
Because the facts and figures for 2011 aren’t quite in yet, let’s take a look at the work of The Salvation Army in 2010.
In 2010, The Salvation Army’s Midland Division (Missouri and Southern Illinois):
- Provided recreation opportunities at local community centers for 115,000 individuals, primarily low-income youth.
- Assisted 170 individuals with more than 5,000 nights of transitional housing.
- Distributed more than 39,000 toys at Christmas to children and families in need.
- Served more than 50,000 people through feeding programs such as our community center soup kitchens located throughout the division.
- Provided more than 170 individuals with access to affordable workforce housing in the Downtown St. Louis area through our Railton apartments.
- Served 4,503 individuals at our Harbor Light facility which provides housing and rehabilitation services to veterans and homeless men.
- Visited with and ministered to shut-ins, patients in hospitals, nursing homes and infirmaries. Distributed more than 27,000 gifts and publications to these individuals.
- Gave more than 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to needy children who would otherwise have had to go to school without supplies.
In 2011, The Salvation Army Midland Division continued to provide service daily in all of these areas and more, as needed, while facing significant shortages and reductions in government support through tax credits and other programs. Individuals who once supported The Salvation Army financially began coming to seek out their own assistance and donations began to diminish. Natural disasters came in large numbers and epic proportions, and we answered the call to serve every time.
In order to continue being good stewards of the gifts God and donors provide, The Salvation Army cannot spend money than it receives in donations. Because of the reduction in support and the increase in need, we have had to turn away more and more requests for assistance, and it breaks the hearts of our staff and officers to have to do so.
We are hopeful that in 2012 we will begin to see a groundswell of support, that as we share the stories of the work we do, hearts will be touched and support will be given so that we can continue to change lives throughout the New Year.
Exciting work is being done in the St. Louis area and we are proud to be doing it. Thank you for your support, whether it be in spirit, in time or in dollars given. We simply couldn’t do it without you.
To find out more about how you can get involved in helping us in 2012, please click here.
To learn more about The Salvation Army’s programs, click here.
On this Christmas Eve and final day of kettle season, we wanted to share the story of Kimberly, a woman we met last week who we were unable to help due to our limited resources. Please give generously today and always. Visit http://www.stlsalvationarmy.org to make a donation online.
By: Faithe Colas, Community Relations Director, Milwaukee County DHQ
SALVATION ARMY WAREHOUSE IN NEED OF NON-PERISHABLE FOOD DONATIONS
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) is in need of non-perishable food items. Donations can be made at The Salvation Army EDS location, 402 East 7th Street, Joplin, Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. To coordinate food drives and deliveries, please call 314-603-2071.
HOPE STATION UPDATES
The Salvation Army is partnering with HOPE Station to provide hope to the Joplin community. This will be a 5 week event which will include music, art, food, worship and opportunities for people to share their stories of hope. The campaign now in progress and is also held at the Salvation Army’s Oasis off 26th and Main. Included is a nightly dinner, live music, a kid’s station with donated toys, guest speakers, and more. This event will take place nightly until the 4th of July. For more information on the HOPE Station visit www.thehopestation.org.
BOY SCOUTS DONATION
Boy Scouts of America Troop 113 from Tomball, Texas donated a semi load of supplies and recovery wish list items to The Salvation Army Joplin Disaster Relief Effort on Tuesday, June 7th. Our sincerest thanks to Boy Scouts Troop 113 and Salem Lutheran Church, who cooperated on this fundraiser. They worked all day Saturday and Sunday to collect the items donated. “We truly hope the goods purchased and donated will come to a little benefit. I know this is only a drop in the bucket based on the overall needs, but I always say – ‘A lot of drops will eventually fill the bucket’,” said Bryan Goodwin of Troop 113.
Ravago Americas donated the use of their company transporter for delivery of the donation.
Thank you, Scouts & Ravago Americas! Your donation is truly appreciated!